Monday, January 21, 2013

Ordinary Aura (Aurdinary)

The Socratic Dialogue as a relay for concept avatar clarifies in the hypotyposis (proportional analogy) that konsult foregrounds not critical reason but perceptual affect (see also D&G's three registers:  Science, Philosophy, Arts -- fact, concept, affect-percept).  The challenge of ubimage is to design a practice capable of workplay with all three orders at once in the context of a situation.   The exercise testing concept avatar (the thought of feeling) takes up the imperative of the avant-garde, championed in many forms subsequently--to merge art into everyday life.  The terminology calls attention to the specific target of ubimage relative to apparatus theory.  The STEM engineers, as they say, have saturated the Everyday world (Lebenswelt) with equipment (mobile devices networking with sensors in smart environments).  That takes care of technics, but the commentary tends to assume that Everyday Life is unproblematic, which is far from the case.  In fact, the Everyday is a major topic of discipline interest, as for example in the philosophy of Henri Lefebvre, taken up in Situationism (Guy Debord), not to mention Walter Benjamin's Arcades project and the Frankfurt School focus on the problem of alienation as the impoverishment of everyday life experience.  The heuretics of ubiquitous pervasive computing addresses the apparatus in the registers of institutional practices.

Specifically, the parallel with digital convergence and saturation is the integration of the aesthetic attitude into lifeworld behavior and skills.  Here is a key to the electrate apparatus in general:  it emerges into metaphysics through the aesthetic attitude, just as literacy as science required the frame of curiosity in order to thrive.  The invention of "attitude" as such is part of apparatus formation.  "Aesthetics" introduces a certain "distance" into experience, termed "aura" by Benjamin.  It is important to clarify that the devotion to "pure art" (art for art's sake) during the initial period of electracy in 19th-century Paris (Parisian Behemia in Montmartre cabarets is the electrate equivalent of the Athenian academies creating a space for pure reason) was temporary, necessary pause for articulation of art as "logic," prior to dissemination as general cultural interface (GCI) for an electrate civilization.  The point is that netizens via the apparatus are able to include aura not as separation from syncretic with their other institutional behaviors -- work, family, leisure.  Aura (aesthetic attitude) creates value, which recommends it as the means to overcome alienation and recover experience of individual and collective agency, which is the avatar function.

Hans Robert Jauss, Aesthetic Experience and Literary Hermeneutics (1982) is an important resource on this attitude.  The larger import of his insight are only now becoming apparent.

 Even more decisively than Dewey's theory, the theory of aesthetic function, which Jan Mukarovsky has been pioneering in various treatises since 1936, turns its back on any and all metaphysics of the beautiful. The investigation of the aesthetic in its social function, as "an energetic component of human activity," is to render superfluous the question "whether the esthetic is a static property of things" and, ultimately, the very concept of the beautiful itself. With the introduction of the concept of aesthetic function, the presumably objective determinations of aesthetic quality are seen as flowing from human activity. The work of art loses its character as thing; as "aestheticobject," it requires the human consciousness to constitute it. Being a dynamic principle, the aesthetic function is potentially unlimited; "it can accompany every human act, and every object can manifest it." Its limit lies in the fact that it derives from the dialectical negation of a practical or communicative function. And because the phenomena it produces in the constant renewal of the aesthetic experience are subject to societal judgment, i.e., must find public recognition before they can enter the tradition-creating process as aesthetic norms, thereis  a  second,  intersubjective  limitatioIn contrast to Roman Jacobson's earlier definition of the poetic influence of language, the aesthetic function is not self-referential for Mukarovsky, it is more than a statement oriented toward expression for its own sake. Because the aesthetic function "changes everything that it touches into a sign," it becomes transparent for the thing or activity that it "sets . . . aside from practical associations." Precisely because the aesthetic function differs from all others (the noetic, the political, the pedagogic) in having no "concrete aim" and because it lacks "unequivocal content," it can take hold of the contents of other functions and give their expression the most effective form. (Jauss, pp 115-16).

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